Nessa óptica, continuarei, por ora, apenas a divulgar mais alguns contos da colectânea que escrevi, adiantando apenas que recebi no outro dia mais uma carta simpática (e esperada diga-se) de rejeição.
Mas ainda assim, não me envergonho destas histórias. Gosto delas. Nasceram do que eu considero fundamental para mim - honestidade e simples desejo de contar uma história por entre coisas que me atormentam e levam a que queira falar sobre elas.
Um grande bem-haja para todos.
"It is the Tale, not he who tells it."
Stephen King - 1982
(Nota: Todas estas histórias estão devidamente registadas na Inspecção Geral das Actividades Culturais. Não que passe pela cabeça de alguém interessar-se em roubar seja lá o que for, mas pelo menos fica o desclaimer.)
“Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.”
– Erika Jong – 1942-(…)
"The love of our lives, if we are allowed to have one, walks around in real people’s land. She wears shoes, although we sense that she probably steps on the floor in a light and tender way. Breathes, exhaling a little cloud of vapour if the weather is cold, and makes us think some unspeakable things about her mouth. Her body occupies space, even if we think that she might cross the gaps between rain drops. She touches things that have no life, but although we think that those things will somehow come alive, they stay the same way. Be that a rock wall or a dead tree.
On the other hand, if we are cynical enough, we imagine that the love of our lives is simply a combination of factors in a given time. In those cases, she becomes the incarnation of all the items on that imaginary and improbable list, and if one is true to one’s scornful doctrine, we soon find that the perfection that we never wanted does not exist anyway. And it is sad to accept a certain kind of mute and pungent truth, we doubt is in fact the main course for the soul’s everyday life.
The story of the love of my life is somehow peculiar because it happened to me. Or it might be peculiar by the nature of the facts, I don’t know. We know that love stories from other people generally sound like those dreaded slide sessions from someone’s vacation. Given enough time and I find myself trying not to puke after 50 pictures of people standing beside monuments and natural wonders, but if the illustration is followed by a good story, we cling on to it. I know I do, and I heard some love stories that were in fact gripping.
It all began in one of those dull weekends where the weather is trapped between clouds that give no rain and a sun that allows no trips to the beach. We call it helmet weather, because the sky just seems to shut us in. I'd just begun to work on a new book, although none of my previous three had seen the light on a library or bookstore shelf. I recognize that writing was not a choice, and became an exercise in stubbornness. I just thought I had something to say even if I didn’t possess that warped talent that allows you to say whatever the main literary tendency thinks is valid. I just had stories on my head, looked around and saw stuff I didn’t like, on one hand, and stuff that made want to keep on breathing, in the other.
A friend called me that afternoon, and he asked if I would like to have dinner with him and some of his friends. He was one of those friends that persistently tries to hook you up with someone, even if in their good hearted nature, the match is improbable, if not impossible. I hesitated because I thought about working on my novel later on, but since there was no publisher waiting for my work to be done, ( ha! Like there’s a chance that there ever will be…) I thought what the hell, and went along.
I arrived at the restaurant a little early, so I walked around the town, watching the sun set as it drew funny pictures on the recently cleaned buildings of the Rossio Square. It was midsummer, and the heat didn’t back down much, even at dusk. People were more undressed than ever. Women were wearing those kind of clothes ruthlessly effective when it came to catch one’s eye. There were people on the street and the city was alive, brewing with the thirst for summer’s enchantments. There were a lot of tourists, speaking in every language you might think of. The beggars and people who sold all kind of useless junk just rallied and emerged for their night shift. Cars went by like animals roaring against the intense heat. Sweating was not an option, but rather inevitability in progress.
I walked around and gazed at my watch. It was time to go.
It was a beautiful little Italian place in Artilharia 1, and there he was, embracing his girlfriend. Ana was a tall, beautiful woman, with sharp eyes that never smiled with the rest of the face. She danced like a disco freak, and was prone to small cruelty, but I guess she really liked him, and that was enough for me. She apparently liked me also. I never understood why, since I got into a confrontation with her in a regular basis, and always stood my ground, even if the argument got ugly. I guess some people cant live without new grounds to conquer, even if those grounds are a simple resistance to an otherwise effective charm or sex appeal. Like many women I knew, she simply cared about those who seemed to care less about her. With the exception of my friend, or so I wish to believe. Or chose to. Whatever.
(to be continued)